In the fifth and final article in his series, Michel von Allmen writes: "While looking at what the challenges are in today's Church and the world, let's remember that we are part of that process and what our mission is".
God is always in the process of building His Church and history is His story, a complex compilation of His acts throughout time and through a fallen mankind. So what He does is always part of an intelligent, wise, powerful process. While looking at what the challenges are in today's Church and the world, let's remember that we are part of that process and that our mission is to...
Follow the example of Jesus' humility, without shying away from our mission; though humble was never weak. He knew who he was and never apologized for being (apostle prophet, evangelist, shepherd, teacher), yet he served in humility before God and man.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Forgetting this is lethal and is like living without God in this world, which is the most despairing state there is.
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. It is a trustworthy statement:For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we [deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
Choose whom you will serve and be conformed to without compromise, also counting the price of the cross in our lives. Serving God in this world in the power of his might is always needed and hungered for, but never really popular. The world has a dangerous tendency to prefer dead heroes to living ones.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this [c]world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [e]acceptable and perfect.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
Whereas past success can be very inspiring, clinging to past successes leads to sure failure for lack of adaptability. How much more if you cling to past failures !
Philippians 3:7-11 losses and gains
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
While we depend totally on the Holy Spirit to initiate change and bring about his plan for the re-ordering of the Church, apostles and prophets need to be committed to this re-ordering process and lead the way. The apostolic anointing is that of pioneers, builders, changers, shakers and shapers, and nothing less than that will be needed to lead and contribute to the advancement of God's Kingdom.
That also means that other 5-fold ministries will have to let go in some ways and align themselves, adjust their way of doing ministry, incorporating the apostolic in the picture if they want to benefit from this new shaping of Christ's bride. Exciting and challenging days are ahead!
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God
Isaiah depicted the suffering Messiah as having had nothing to attract us, for it was our sin he bore on his flesh and body. This is one part of the reality, but now Jesus has been glorified and is seated at God's right hand. He is now the embodiment of both the power and the wisdom of God.
Part of the problem of the Western Church is that, under the influence of Greek culture, we have made Christ first the wisdom of God (because we like talking about it and discuss opinions...) and then maybe the power of God if we are lucky and have the chance to see an answer to prayer once in a while...
Not so God has made His Son, the power of God and the wisdom of God (word order inspired by the Holy Spirit not to be inverted).
That means that the re-portraying of Christ will have to be first a manifestation of His power and of His wisdom (not that of the world, even less that of the devil).
1 Corinthians 1:24
but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
As we engage in this restoration process and the more we follow the Lord's leading in it, the more we'll be ready and able to continue doing what we have done but in a much more efficient way...
re-commit to promote a meaningful biblical fellowship and ministry until Christ is...
re-vealed to the world in His own and powerful way by his sure return.
And the end has never yet been told, because this is the 29th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles that is being written.
©Michel von Allmen 2015